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A TikTok ban just got one step closer

TikTok
TikTok is Bytedance's most popular product, with over a billion users worldwide.Jaap Arriens/Getty Images
  • The House of Representatives just passed a bipartisan-introduced bill "banning" TikTok.

  • The bill wouldn't outlaw the app itself necessarily but would require it to be sold within 180 days.

  • Biden said he'd sign it, but there's no guarantee it'll succeed in a Senate vote.

The House of Representatives passed a bill effectively banning TikTok in the US on Wednesday morning, but even with President Joe Biden's approval, its future success is no guarantee.

Members in the House voted Wednesday on the bipartisan-introduced Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which was introduced earlier in March.

Though commonly referred to as a TikTok "ban," the legislation doesn't entirely outlaw the app from being available in the country. Instead, it gives any company owned by a "foreign adversary" 180 days to divest or sell to a US-based company to continue operating.

The bill passed in a bipartisan manner, but the leaders of each political party voiced opposite opinions on the legislation in the weeks before the vote. President Joe Biden has said he'll sign it into law if passed. Former President Donald Trump recently came out against the bill despite similarly trying to get ByteDance to sell the app during his presidency.

As Business Insider noted Monday, Trump made his change of heart public weeks after meeting with billionaire Susquehanna International Group cofounder, GOP donor, and TikTok investor Jeff Yass in Florida.

The legislation's success is not certain in the Senate. Several senators — Republicans and Democrats alike — have voiced concerns in recent weeks because the bill mentions TikTok and ByteDance by name.

Senate Democrats introduced a similar bill to go after TikTok in 2023 that they could bring back into the spotlight. Still, it's been largely overshadowed by the current bill rushing through Congress.

According to Bloomberg, TikTok CEO Shou Chew personally lobbied against the legislation during a visit to the Capitol on Tuesday. At the same time, the company's public response to the advancing bill has been defeatist. "This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States," a spokesperson for the company said.

Read the original article on Business Insider